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Having made visits to India and Vietnam early this month, President Roh Moo-hyun is set to make official visits to Brazil, Chile and Argentina from Nov. 12. He visited Russia in September this year and China last year.When President Roh completes his visit to Brazil next month, he will have made official visits to all of the so-called BRICs _ Brazil, Russia, India, and China, the four rapidly emerging major markets of the world.The combined population of BRICs, now regarded as the new driving force for the growth of the global economy, accounts for more than 40 percent of the world's total. China and India are also among the world's top four countries in terms of real purchasing power, along with the U.S. and Japan.Accordingly, it goes without saying that the nation should strengthen economic and diplomatic relations with BRICs. Unfortunately, the government's recent move to bolster ties with BRICs seems to have come a little late.While visiting India during early October, President Roh defined relations between Korea and India by calling the two nations "long-term cooperative partners for peace and prosperity." The leaders of the two countries also agreed to create a joint study group to consider the feasibility of a "pact on comprehensive economic partnership," which carries a wider idea of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).Along with this, Korean entrepreneurs accompanying the president agreed with their Indian business partners to actively work with Indian plants and bolster bilateral cooperation in the steel sector.During his visit to Russia last September, President Roh also reached an agreement with his Russian counterpart to expand bilateral cooperation in the resource and energy sector.This economic diplomacy, designed to expand the nation's export market and accelerate the joint development of natural resources with foreign countries, will be indispensable as the nation moves to reduce its heavy dependency on the imports of energy and raw materials from just a few countries.From the viewpoint of international politics, the nation's relations with BRICs are also very important. China and Russia, permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, are playing a major role in efforts for peace on the Korean peninsula and in Northeast Asia. Meanwhile, India and Brazil, both hoping to become permanent member of the council, represent the world's developing countries.Taking these factors into consideration, the government should endeavor to attain tangible results from bolstered diplomacy with BRICs, especially in the economic field.